The news that the applicant has withdrawn this proposal has been widely reported and is very welcome indeed. The Brixton Society was one of many objectors to this totally inappropriate development. We trust our detailed analysis of its very many faults contributed to the outcome.
Unfortunately, the applicant appears shameless in their withdrawal letter.
Over a year ago, the Mayor of London indicated that he was ready to determine the application and set a date for the final hearing, Friday, 10th June 2022. Alongside other objectors, we took a great deal of trouble to prepare to present our case at that hearing. Just a week before, we were told that it was being postponed at the request of the applicant. The notification from the Greater London Authority said:
“I am emailing to advise you that, following a request from the applicant to postpone the Hearing to allow them to consider changes to the scheme to address significant concerns raised by Historic England and others, the Mayor has agreed to this. The postponement has been granted on condition that this is done in engagement with the local community as well as the GLA, Historic England and others.”
What did we hear from the applicant by way of engagement with the local community in the following year plus: nothing!
Eventually, the Mayor set another date for the hearing: 21st July 2023. Again, we all prepared to address the hearing. Just days before, we were notified by the GLA that the application had been withdrawn and the hearing was therefore cancelled. This is what the applicant said about the reason for the withdrawal:
“Unfortunately, the very long period of gestation over the past two years has had a profound impact on the ability to deliver this much needed jobs and skills boost in Brixton and in particular the Windrush ward. We are now at the position where the applicant needs to re-consider its position and can only do this by withdrawing the application. We hope we can soon be in a position where a revised approach can be tabled which is able to deliver lasting benefits for Brixton’s businesses and residents.”
Whose fault was the two-year period of gestation? For 13 months they did nothing to address the Mayor’s condition for the postponement that they engage with the local community.
This doesn’t bode well for another application from them. Will they come back with the sort of development that Brixton needs or another one just designed to maximise their profit? They can be sure we will not be the only people watching very closely.